Books, Stories And Colourful Semantics
Many of my students have difficulties telling stories. When looking at a book together, even books they love and have seen many times, they often struggle to understand what they are reading and cannot therefore retell the story in any sequence. A great method I often use with those students is called Colourful Semantics.
What is Colourful Semantics?
Colourful Semantics is an approach aimed at helping children develop grammar and meaning of phrases and sentences. We help children identify WHO is the subject in a story, what is he/she/it DOING to WHAT and WHERE. There are lots of colour coded stages but we tend to start with the basic 4:
WHO = ORANGE
DOING = YELLOW
WHAT = GREEN
WHERE = BLUE
Once a student is accomplished at this level, we move on to different colour codes for describing words (adjectives), connecting words (with/together/and/therefore) feeling words (PINK), timing words (BROWN) eg. when, tomorrow, last week etc.
Colourful Semantics is a really useful method and helps children to organise their sentences. It also helps me knowing how to guide a student in thinking about the story.
The approach can be used with children with a range of Speech and Language Needs, such as:
- Developmental Delay / Disorder
- Autistic Spectrum Condition
- Down Syndrome
- Any other syndromes and related speech and language delays
- General Literacy difficulties
There are a wide range of benefits to using this approach and I use it in my therapeutic work with children of around 3 years plus. Below is a little video which shows how I use it with this student who has general language difficulties associated with Autism. One of the main benefits with this student is that seeing the Cue Cards helps her to use a much wider range of vocabulary than she would ordinarily generate. Her sentences are getting longer and she is more able to answer questions. In general, I find it useful to help with storytelling and to guide us through the story in a sequence.
There are many on-line games these days that have incorporated the Colourful Semantics Approach. Once a child is familiar with the basic colour scheme then gradually the visual prompts can be reduced to using verbal prompts.
Find a speech and language therapist for your child in London. Are you concerned about your child’s speech, feeding or communication skills and don’t know where to turn? Please contact me and we can discuss how I can help you or visit my services page.